Ephesians 6:13-17; The armored Christian is a messenger of the gospel of peace.

Class Outline:

Wednesday April 27,2022

Wearing His armor, having His righteousness and life, we have been so blessed to be like Him, and it is our choice to do so in the face of great evil (the devil).


Truth and righteousness are intimately related. If we don’t know from the truth what God’s righteousness really is, then we are hopeless to practice it. Faithfulness is loyalty and obedience, which is righteousness in practice, especially when there is great temptation to not be faithful. Doing right and practice justice has its different nuances in different areas. What does doing right, according to God’s definition, look like as a parent, a child, a member of the church, a worker, student, boss, teacher, authority in the state (police or government or soldier), community, etc.? All of us will find ourselves entering areas we’ve never been in before, like getting married, having children, starting a new job, joining a new church, and we are required to do what is right within them, and that, by God’s standards.


The believer has a righteous standing before God and so he lives his life based upon it. It is antithetical to life to stand righteous before your King and then run off and do unrighteous things. Not that we’re sinless, nor is any servant. But the faithful steward, if you remember, is faithful even when the master is away.


The breastplate is also a reference to our righteous standing before God as it wards off Satan’s scheme of bringing up old sins, challenge God’s forgiveness, etc.


Satan is an accuser. Greek diabolos means slanderer. He accuses the brethren day and night (REV 12:10). But if we didn’t know we were being accused of anything, there would not be any need for us to claim righteousness in order to stand. We don’t know how, but somehow the failures and sins of the past, the poor performances, the lackluster efforts, all rush at our memories from time and time, and along with them, the question of complete forgiveness and perfect standing before God. To these our faith turns to that wonderful pronunciation from our Father over the empty tomb of His Son - “You are righteous before Me and I call you justified forever. Be free.” There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (ROM 8:1).


The difference between what Satan says to us and what God says can be seen in the difference between their weapons, namely arrows. The flaming missiles of the evil one are his accusations, attacks, deceptions, and schemes. The arrow of God is Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind.


ISA 49:2

And He has also made Me a select arrow;

He has hidden Me in His quiver.


This striking difference between an evil being accusing another of sin and the holy, righteous, perfect God humiliating Himself so that He could save sinners should help us to see how we should live and how we should fight in this invisible war.


“The completeness of pardon for past offence and the integrity of character that belong to the justified life, are woven together in an impenetrable mail.” [Findlay]


John Bunyan in Pilgrim’s Progress made a point about the armor not having a back. It may be because of him that this idea became popular. In his allegory, the hero Christian reaches the Valley of Humiliation when he sees “a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him,” who turns out to be Apollyon. “Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back or to stand his ground. But he considered again that he had no armor for his back, and therefore thought, that to turn the back to him might give him greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his darts. Therefore he resolved to venture, and stand his ground.” The counsel is a good one, but doesn’t actually come from our exegesis since the soldier’s breastplate often covered his back as well as his front. We are told to flee from certain things like contention with others about words, the love of money, youthful lusts (1TI 6:11; 2TI 2:22). So, the idea of not turning our backs or not running away might be misconstrued, but I don’t see it as a significant issue of interpretation.


All the pieces of the armor go together. It is a revelation that the divine life gives us strength and protection. Truth reveals the reality of the others, which might be why it is listed first. The gospel and salvation as shoes and helmet are more than our initial faith in the gospel resulting in our salvation, but the continued knowledge and understanding of God’s work for the salvation of mankind and what that deliverance has done for mankind.


No piece of the armor is to be excluded. All must work together: truth, righteousness, gospel, faith, salvation, Spirit inspired word of God.


Faith is faithfulness or faith working through application of the word of God to all of life’s people and circumstances. Righteousness is living Christ-like in all areas of life. The word of God is to be constantly learned and lived. And it doesn’t take long to imagine how all six of these interlace with one another, overlapping and feeding one another.


EPH 6:14-15

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;


“shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” - bringing the declaration of salvation while first a recipient of it.


The virtues of truth and righteousness gives light and swift feet to those who know that their own beginning in this life beyond dreams was the gospel. They want to share this life with everyone, even those who take the position of their enemy.


That salvation, Jesus Christ Himself, is a free gift to anyone who will receive Him, gives great joy to the one who has Him. Joy is especially high in the ones who have Christ and have come to know Him over time. They want all the world to have Christ Jesus as they do. They do not want more of Christ for themselves over and above others, but to have more of Christ for everyone.


As the belt and breastplate belong to God the Messiah, so the beautiful feet of the messenger who brings good news is His as well. Apostle (apostollos) means one who is sent. The apostles as well as Jesus proudly wore this title. The Christ was sent from heaven to seek and to save the lost. The gospel (euanggelion) means “good news.”


Through Isaiah, God pronounced judgment that was to come upon Judah, Israel, and the Gentile nations. Some of that judgment then came historically and much more remained. If Isaiah’s book ended at chapter 39 then the picture for everyone looks quite bleak. However, the book then changes, being dominated by someone called the Servant of the Lord. In the church we know Him as the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel of peace is developed in Isaiah so masterfully. Each of us would have to spend the time in reading and study for quite some time to see Isaiah’s picture.


The imagery of the feet shod with the gospel is in ISA 52:7, and the surrounding context is God’s promise to deliver and the suffering Servant who will do it (52:13-53:12).


ISA 52:1-6

Awake, awake,

Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion;

Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments,

O Jerusalem, the holy city.

For the uncircumcised and the unclean

Will no more come into you.

2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,

O captive Jerusalem;

Loose yourself from the chains around your neck,

O captive daughter of Zion.


3 For thus says the Lord, "You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money." 4 For thus says the Lord God, "My people went down at the first into Egypt to reside there, then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 "Now therefore, what do I have here," declares the Lord, "seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?" Again the Lord declares, "Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 "Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, 'Here I am.'"


So much had been written of God selling them into slavery, what was really God giving them to the false gods that they worshipped, their demonic lovers with whom they committed shameful adultery against Yahwey Elohim. And yet, here is their Husband, returned. The Great “I am” says, “Here I am.”


ISA 52:7

How lovely on the mountains

Are the feet of him who brings good news,

Who announces peace

And brings good news of happiness,

Who announces salvation,

And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"


The poetic image draws on the perspective of the townspeople watching as a jubilant messenger comes near with news of God’s victory.


ISA 52:8-10

Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices,

They shout joyfully together;

For they will see with their own eyes

When the Lord restores Zion.

9 Break forth, shout joyfully together,

You waste places of Jerusalem;

For the Lord has comforted His people,

He has redeemed Jerusalem.

10 The Lord has bared His holy arm

In the sight of all the nations,

That all the ends of the earth may see

The salvation of our God.


Awake! Awake! Clothe yourself! Rise up!


“Here I am!” The feet of the messenger bring good news!


Listen! Shout joyfully!


And then … the fourth Servant Song.


ISA 52:13-15

Behold, My servant will prosper,

He will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted.

14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people,

So His appearance was marred more than any man,

And His form more than the sons of men.

15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations,

Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;

For what had not been told them they will see,

And what they had not heard they will understand.


This is the fourth Servant Song, the one that reveals all that He would suffer horribly in order to save us. It is the love of God for the world of sinners that is so difficult to comprehend, but we must do so, because we are commanded to be imitators of Him in love.


ISA 53:1-12

53:1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?    53:2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.    53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.    53:4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.    53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.    53:6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.    53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.    53:8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?    53:9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.    53:10 But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.    53:11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.    53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.